how to become a police officer in Massachusetts

If you want to become a cop in the state of Massachusetts, you must know that it’s not going to be easy. There are several hurdles you’ll need to cross in order to wear the badge. The first thing you can do to make yourself more attractive to potential departments in MA is to enroll yourself in the police training academy.

Here are the requirements needed to become a police officer as well as qualifications needed to enter the police academy in MA:

For appointments into the Boston Police Academy, applicants must take and pass the Commonwealth of Massachusetts’ Written Police Examination. The civil service exam is given every two years.

In order to become a police officer in Massachusetts, you must pass the background check. In addition,  if you want to work for the Boston Police Department you must be a resident of the city for at least one year prior to taking the civil service exam.

To become a police officer in the Commonwealth of MA, applicants must:

  1. Be a U.S. citizen (birth or naturalized)
  2. Be at least 21 years of age
  3. Possess a High School Diploma or have a G.E.D. Certificate or served at least 3 years in the United States Armed Forces with an honorable discharge or release.
  4. Possess a valid Massachusetts motor vehicle operator’s license

I hope this article helped you!

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Easiest police department to get hired

I got an email today from a young man in Miami, Fl. He wanted to know what are the easiest police department to get hired at. He made it clear in the email that he wants to take the road of little to no resistance – without any hurdles whatsoever.  I wish I could tell you there is an easy route that you can take in order to become a police officer, but the truth is there is no easy way.

There are some things you can do to make yourself more hire-able by scoring him on your Police oral exam, and the law enforcement entrance test, but ultimately there is no easy road. If there was one, I would have taken it.

Here’s my response to this young lad: Becoming a cop is not easy, you have to prepare yourself mentally and physically for the grueling hiring process. There are somethings you can’t really prepare for like the emotional roller coaster of not knowing if you did okay or not on the polygraph test, psych test, or the oral board interview. Trust me, my head was spinning after my oral board interview.

You’ll have to pass several different exams before you are even considered by the hiring board. Can it be done, yes; but you must stay the course. If you get eliminated, don’t get discouraged as statistics show over 50% of all police officers get eliminated their first time around. In my department alone a lot of cops had to go through the process at least twice before they got hired.

So don’t sweat it if you didn’t score high enough on the police exam your first time through; simply re-take it and you’ll do better next time around. I know a few cops that had to re-take the exam at least three times before they got hired.

Don’t look for an easy way out because there aren’t any. Instead focus on ways to make yourself more hire-able by getting a top score on the oral board exam.

Police Officer Polygraph test – Addressing Illegal drug questions

If you’re seeking a career in law enforcement and you’ve used drugs in the past, the best thing to do is to be honest about it. If you try to withhold that piece of information from the polygraph examiner, background investigators, or the police interview panel you’ll likely get disqualified immediately.

Although you’ll be asked straight forward questions about past drug use during the polygraph test, members on the oral interview panel may also ask you about it as well.

Some departments won’t allow you to continue on in the hiring process if you have excessive drug use patterns or you’ve used in the last two or three years. If you’re considering a career in police work, I suggest you stay as far as you can from illegal drug activity.

Of course the drug policy varies from department to department and from state to state, but I wouldn’t chance it by sneaking a few puffs in right before your polygraph exam.

Why am I saying this…..

I knew of a recruit when I was going through the process, who had actually gotten high the night before his polygraph examination. Needless to say, he was booted and hasn’t been heard from again.

Always be up front about past drug activity. I don’t care what drug it might have been. If it was marijuana or other drugs, simply be up front about it. Departments realize there are quite a few qualified candidates who might have made a mistake or two in their lifetime, but damage is irreparable when you lie about it. That is inexcusable, and grounds for immediate disqualification.

So how should you address illegal drug questions:

To put it simple, the best way to answer an illegal drug question is to remain calm and tell the truth. Be completely honest with the polygraph examiner and you’ll do fine. There’s no certain way to get eliminated from the recruiting process then to straight up lie about pass drug use.

Don’t go into your test unprepared, instead Click Here to download a comprehensive list of common polygraph test questions with explanation on how to answer them.

Houston Police Department Hiring Process Tips

If you want to become a cop for the Houston Police Department, let me be the first to say it’s not going to be easy. A lot of people are now realizing the private sector is not as stable as it once was ten years ago. As a result, many people are looking for the security of a government job in law enforcement.

The down turn in the economy has significantly increased the volume of applications submitted to the Houston Police Department every single day. To insure that you stand out and are the one to subsequently get hired, you must prepare yourself. Here are a few things  I’ve listed below that many candidates take for granted, but is essential to getting hired.

The Application Process:

Many potential recruits take this part of the process lightly and I’ve seen a lot of applicants get the boot because they simply didn’t complete the application correctly. Misspellings and grammatical errors are just a few things that will get your application tossed to the side. Another thing is leaving some portion of the application blank because you didn’t understand what was being asked. If you’re uncertain about a question on the application, don’t just leave it blank, call the recruiting officer for clarification.

Police Written Exam:

The entrance exam is basically a filtering tool for the Houston Police Department. As I mentioned earlier the Houston Police Department is flooded with applications. So the only legitimate way to eliminate some of these people who will not be good cops is through the police exam. Normally the entrance exam will wipe out around 50% of all applicants and the polygraph will take out another 10%. The good thing about the police exam is that it’s predictable and you can actually prepare for it by getting a good police exam study guide.

Police Oral Board Interview:

The oral board exam will ultimately make you or break you. If you have a poor performance in front of the oral board, you might as well pack it up. In contrast, if you have an outstanding interview, you’ll most likely get offered the job. Just like the police exam, the oral board interview is fairly predictable and you can prepare for it with a good study guide.

I’m always at a lost when I see candidates flunk the police exam when it could have been prevented only if they had taken a few practice exams that are available at several reputable sources online. They go into it ill-prepared and as a result they fail the exam.

Why You Don’t Need A College Degree To Be A Cop

I’ve been a police officer for several years now and it still irks me when I see online ads falsely claiming you must sign up for their high priced college courses in order to become a police officer. Don’t buy into this. The truth is you don’t need a college degree in order to become a cop. In fact, if you are at least 21, have high character, a clean record, and good communication skills you can be an effective police officer.

So can a college degree help get the job?

In my opinion no but there are some exceptions. The exception is if you’re written exam and oral exam scores are equal to someone else who does not have a degree than you’ll get the job, but the chances that will happen are slim.

Here’s the key to getting a law enforcement job without a college degree

If you have a college degree, that’s great as it will help you if you have aspirations of becoming Chief of Police one day or you might want to do a lateral move to a federal position. If that’s the case, then you’ll definitely want a college degree. I don’t want to come off as someone who is against a college degree because I’m not.

In fact, I have two degrees myself.  My whole point is to counter those ridiculous ads that make it sound like the only way to become a cop is to sign up for their outrageous thousand dollar course. It just isn’t right.

Your performance on the oral board interview is more important than anything. If you have a poor performance on the oral exam, it won’t matter if you have a college degree or not.

The hiring panel puts more emphasis on how well you do on the oral board interview. If you have a bad interview, you’ll most likely get eliminated from the hiring pool. On the other hand, if you impress during the oral interview, you’ll most likely get the job.

The oral exam is vital as it measures your ability to problem solve and make quick decisions in various highly stressful situations. That is why the hiring board puts more stock into the interview to determine who’s the best fit for their department.

How to prepare for the oral exam

The best way to prepare for the oral exam is to practice answering the most commonly asked police interview questions in the mirror. There are some common questions the board members will ask you no matter where you are you live. I mention the mirror because you must understand some of the raters on the board will be police officers and they are master body language readers. So the mirror will help you monitor your non-verbal cues.

In conclusion, instead of paying for those high priced courses, try to focus your attention on preparing for the oral board exam. You can get the top 100 most commonly asked police interview questions here.